Yes you read it right…$3billion. Crikey! There are a number of reasons why this is so and they have been revealed in their fiscal 2008 annual report. I won’t bore you with too many details, suffice to say that the PlayStation 3 required a huge investment in terms of research and development. This coupled with a difficult launch period and pricing problems has resulted in this huge loss. Also, and this might be most worrying for the shareholders (hah) is that Sony seem resigned to the fact that they may never fully recoup the entire loss.
I think this is all good for us consumers, well nearly all good. I am impressed with Sony’s determination to produce a unique and cutting edge product. They could have easily produced nice PC in a shiny box but instead they wanted to produce something really special and challenging, and it has cost them. The initial selling price was too high for a console but not high enough to make money. Even so, Sony sucked it up and dropped the price, which cost them even more. This means that Sony are even more determined to ensure that the PS3 has a 10 year+ life cycle, again this is great for us. I can’t even imagine what a full decade of firmware updates and developer experience will bring us.
The only downside to all this that I can see is, if Sony don’t make money with the PS3 then they might not make a PS4.